Builders Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Are there on-site benefits for construction with Light Gauge Steel Framing Systems?
Steel frames are precision engineered, dimensionally accurate, straight and true (there is no need for frame straightening), and they arrive to site pre-fabricated and ready for installation. Builders and tradies have told us they appreciate the lightweight nature of steel. And arriving to site prefabricated can improve on-site efficiency and also help to reduce on-site waste.
Are steel frames quick to install?
Because they arrive to site pre-fabricated, frames made from TRUECORE® steel are ready to be installed straight away. Some builders have suggested there are time savings compared to some other building materials. We recommend you speak to your builder for an estimate of the build time for your specific project.
How do I know that steel frames will be strong enough?
Steel is inherently strong and TRUECORE® steel meets the requirements of all relevant Australian Standards. Most modern systems use high tensile steel components and appropriate jointing methods, and are engineered to meet the relevant structural requirements of the National Construction Code
How can I be assured that frames made from TRUECORE® steel are good quality?
TRUECORE® steel is made by BlueScope to strict tolerances and fully complies with all relevant Australian Standards. Light gauge steel framing is a precision engineered product manufactured to accurate dimensions and this helps to ensure walls are straight and true. Steel frames don’t shrink, twist or warp over time which may help reduce builder call-backs and ongoing maintenance issues.
What warranty is available on TRUECORE® steel?
TRUECORE® steel is backed by a reassuring 50-year warranty from BlueScope. The warranty is offered to eligible applicants for residential applications and is subject to terms and conditions. For full terms and conditions and to determine eligibility please visit warranties.bluescopesteel.com.au/ or call BlueScope on 1800 800 789. In addition, consumers have rights under Australian Consumer Law which cannot be excluded, modified or restricted and the warranties offered by BlueScope do not affect those rights.
Have steel framed buildings been proven over time?
Steel framing has been successfully used in housing since the early 1950’s and in recent years has gained in popularity. There are well-known and reputable builders in Australia who recognise the benefits of TRUECORE® steel and building steel framed houses.
Why should I consider a frame that is termite proof?
Frames made from TRUECORE® steel are 100% termite and borer proof. As anyone who’s had to deal with termites would probably tell you, it’s worth doing everything you can to stop them, right from the start. Termites are a problem in Australia and damage to a house frame by termites and borers can be silent and invisible to the eye. Rectification may involve replacement of the damaged frame and other building components and the damage may not be covered in standard insurance policies. Regular termite inspections are recommended to check the other building components in homes.
Can steel frames be used for building in a bushfire zone?
Yes. When used as part of the NASH bushfire standard, frames made from TRUECORE® steel provide simple design solutions to achieve compliance when building, even in a flame zone. For further information please refer to the National Association of Steel-Framed Housing’s Standard ‘Steel Frames Construction in Bushfire Areas’ or visit www.nash.asn.au/nash/safetyand-security/bushfires. We also recommend you speak with your builder about the suitability of steel framing for your particular build.
If I use a steel frame how much flexibility do I have with design?
Steel frame manufacturers and fabricators can produce almost any one or two storey home design seen in Australia today and recently steel frames have been used in some three and four storey designs. Because house frames made from TRUECORE® steel have a high strength-to weight ratio and stay straight and true, they’re an ideal choice for modern home design. Long spans, open plan living spaces, architectural rooflines; they’re all possible with the inner strength of TRUECORE® steel. And frames made from TRUECORE® steel are suitable for both flat and sloping blocks.
Is more trade skill required to work with steel framing?
Any trade can work with steel framing. Bricklayers can install the brick ties by simply clipping them into the stud and plasterers appreciate the straight lines of a frame made from
TRUECORE® steel. Pre-punched electrical and plumbing service holes help make installation easier for plumbers and electricians. Most frames are installed by qualified framers who can work with both steel and timber. Trades are increasingly becoming experienced with working with steel as more builders adopt steel framing in their product offer.
How can I find out how to install steel frames?
If you’re new to light gauge steel frames you might be surprised just how easy frames made from TRUECORE® steel are to work with. We’ve put together a range of how-to videos to help you get up to speed fast, you can view them on the Installers page of this website. Also, The National Association of Steel-Framed Housing (NASH) provides instructional literature and videos and your frame supplier is also likely to provide installation manuals and support.Web: www.sparkhomes.com.au
Do I need to undertake chemical or physical termite protection if I use a steel frame?
The National Construction Code specifies chemical and physical termite barriers only where structural members are subject to termite attack. A steel frame is termite proof, but it is still recommended to use non-structural fixtures of termite-resistant materials, or a steel frame plus a termite barrier, combined with regular pest inspections. For further information visit the National Association for Steel-Frame Housing’s (NASH) info page: www.nash.asn.au/nash/why-choose-steel/structural-pests
Is there initial or ongoing movement of steel frames?
There will be no initial shrinkage or swelling of a frame made from TRUECORE® steel as there is no absorption or drying of moisture in steel frames. Steel framing in a properly constructed and insulated home expands and contracts in response to temperature changes at rates reasonably similar to those of other building materials. And steel frames won’t shrink, twist or warp over time so there’s less chance of sticking doors and window jambs, nail pops & wavy roof lines due to frame movement.
Can I build on piers or a concrete slab?
Yes, steel framing can be fixed directly to a concrete slab, or to steel flooring systems on brick, concrete, or steel piers.
Should copper pipes be isolated from a steel frame?
Yes, these materials should be isolated because in the presence of water these materials will develop
galvanic cells which will result in rapid destruction of the protective metal coating of the steel frame.
Copper pipes are easily isolated from the frame by using nylon grommets or face fixed to the studs
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Does steel framing combined with external cladding provide greater internal wall space?
Compared to double-brick construction, floorspace gains can be achieved when using frames
made from TRUECORE® steel combined with external cladding construction. Over a typical home
design (slab area = 221m2) this may equate to three square metres which could mean more living
space or additional storage.
I’ve heard steel frames allow a range of external façade options?
Yes, steel frames can accommodate a range of facades including brick, veneer, fibre cement and
timber. Cladding solutions can be fixed directly to steel framing.
Is a light gauge steel frame made from TRUECORE® steel durable?
Yes, it is. TRUECORE® steel with Activate® technology incorporates a thoroughly tested protective
aluminium/zinc/magnesium alloy coating. Our patented Activate® coating technology is an
important component of BlueScope products installed across a range of environments and
building applications. Where there are cut edges from drilling or cutting operations, the galvanic
action of the coating protects the exposed steel edge against corrosion.
Are steel framed houses thermally efficient?
A frame made from TRUECORE® steel can be lined, insulated and clad in a variety of ways which
can deliver the desired thermal and acoustic properties.
Do you supply steel frame across Australia.
Yes we can supply steel frames across Australia, though our distribution channel
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